Man watches 94 hours of television

By Vanessa Brown, Rohan Smith

Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, Bobs Burgers; eventually they all get boring if you're forced to watch for 94 hours. Photo / Supplied
Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, Bobs Burgers; eventually they all get boring if you're forced to watch for 94 hours. Photo / Supplied

Ever streamed episode after episode of your favourite TV show and lost track of time?

It's easy to do and it's happened to almost every Gen Y-er with an internet connection and a Netflix account.

But what if you were forced to watch? How long could you go without looking away from the screen? Three hours maybe? Four? What about 94?

That was the challenge three willing binge watchers signed up for as part of a Guiness World Record attempt recently.

The rules were simple: Participants could not break eye contact with the screen, they received a five-minute break for each hour of continuous television they watched and they were not allowed to engage in prolonged conversation with anybody else in the room.

Tech Insider filmed the entire torturous experiment and the results were, pardon the pun, eye-opening.

"The thing I'm most nervous about is ... psychotic break or falling asleep," Alejandro Fragoso said before embarking on a marathon journey through a seemingly endless loop of Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bob's Burgers, and Battlestar Galactica.

Competitor number two, Louise Matsakis, said she was worried about getting bored. Her boredom appeared to kick in at around the 10-hour mark when she waved the white flag and left Fragoso and Molly Ennis to fight it out for the title of best binge watcher on the planet.

Two days in to the four-day experiment, Fragoso admitted he was hallucinating.
"(It) was happening this morning to the point where I was having waking dreams," he said. "My eyes were open but I was hallucinating basically, it was weird. It was a very odd state to be in."

At the 59-hour mark, Ennis broke eye contact with the screen and was disqualified, leaving Fragoso to limp to the finish line.

A low-key celebration ended the challenge at 94 hours. "Thank God," Frogoso said.

News.com.au chatted to experts about the impact of binge watching on the human brain earlier this week.

Behavioural neuroscientist and cognition expert at The Florey Institute, Jess Nithianantharajah, said the biggest problem with binge watching was the lack of diversity, and inability to create more connectors in the brain.

"Doing the same activity over and over sees certain parts of the brain activated, but the other parts will be less stimulated, Dr Nithianantharajah said.

"That means you're taking away the opportunity to embark in other activities that can more widely activate the brain.

"Long term, the property of performances will be different for people who don't do adverse activities compared to those who use a variety of sensory and brain stimulations."

In Australia, we watch just under three hours of television each day from free-to-air, while there's no real way of distinguishing how much we consume from paid services like Netflix, Stan and Presto.

Dr Nithianantharajah would advise against prolonged exposure to the same shows, over and over.

"You're brain is a muscle, so it needs to be worked differently like all the other parts of your body. "Varied exercises ... is the key."

- news.com.au

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